Multiple Goals In One Day? Advice?

#1

Hi There! I’m new to the forum, I hope this is the right category!

I feel like I can either do many small things in a day (when on medication) like chores or one big thing. I kind of think of them like “main course” tasks and “sides”. I can have a bunch of sides and it’s like a meal but two main courses is too much.

If I have to go to a doctors appointment and then make time for schoolwork, for example, schoolwork usually doesn’t get done. Or even if I’m planning to see a friend (Which I would think should be a fun thing and not a task! Brain does not agree.) and then do personal book keeping or something, the book keeping won’t get done. I’m having a hard time with things like taking more than one class at a time because then I have to dedicate time to doing two different loads of classwork. Or I’ll have to research something for a class and then do the work, but I feel like I can only do one.

I also keep getting distracted by small tasks like cleaning something and picking up clutter instead of doing main course tasks. It’s really frustrating because I feel like I’m getting nothing done and I get burnt out.

I don’t really understand it so I’m having trouble figuring out how to cope. Does anyone else do this and have some tricks or advice? I’ve tried treating the main coarse tasks like sides but I get overwhelmed and loose focus.

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#2

Ooh, interesting way to describe this!

I think this is pretty much what happens to me too, though I may need to think it through some more as the metaphor is new to me.

However, I got an adhd coach in November and my productivity has improved a lot since then, although I still don’t function like a neurotypical person and still have some of the problems you describe.

Ok, what helped me tons was making a weekly plan, and keeping track of how realistic it turned out to be. Actually creating the plan took several hours each week - but I gained more than that time in productivity so it was worth it, and eventually I got quicker at it, just an hour on a good week.

The weekly plan is one sheet of A4, seven columns and one block per hour for each day, though because I am usally asleep between 12 and 6 at least, i leave those hours off, and because of writing space my first and last blocks cover two hours rather than one.

I colour-code the plan. I have different colours for:
Morning/eve routine;
Travel;
Coach/therapy/planning /self care activities;
Work;
Study;
Household chores;
Free time/socialising.

Over time, i got better at being realistic. I learned to notice when there wasn’t enough free time, and that the amount of study time was way too little, no wonder I was behind!

I tried to make blocks of work and study on different days from each other, and I learned to recognise when things were a non-starter, like thinking I could get any ‘real’ work done on a day I had therapy. So those were the ideal days to do my planning.

I learned to say no/not now but next week/yes but in a different way that costs me less time, in response to other people’s requests for help. Before The Plan I always said yes, because I had no idea what I would otherwise be doing and realiatically I would probably just be procrastinating anyway, so I might as well be helping someone else.

Also, i learned that if I didn’t do what I had planned, I could reschedule that thing. Which helped me to see which tasks I was really procrastinating on big time, because they kept reappearing on the weekly plan! Eventually I did some of those jobs too, and there are only two or three still outstanding. I know I will get there with those too. I have learned to trust myself more that I really can finish a task. If i can’t yet, it probably means I need to break it down into smaller tasks,or get over whatever emotional blockage I have on it.

My life is not perfect since The Plan and I am actually not making one at the moment because I can just about manage to ‘see the coloured blocks’ in my head and more or less keep up with my weekly stuff, and have agreed with my coach that this is a good time to bite the bullet and create a long term plan. That’s a different story and I am not there yet.

I hope there is something in here that might help!

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#3

Ever think of getting either of these?

Seem pretty awesome to me, if you have space for them. I’ll make a separate post on them in tools, asking for input and thoughts. Can’t believe (well, I guess I CAN!:joy::stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:) I didn’t post about these before! I am thinking of getting some, and because they’re so big and visible, might make it easier to stick with the plan…?

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#4

I do like this visually. I feel like when things have a certain look to them I’m more likely to use them, lol.

I put together a whiteboard situation for my mom once where I used a picture frame with glass and put white paper behind it and mounted a dry erase marker beside it and voila! Stylish whiteboard that matches your decor. You could switch out the white paper with a blank calendar page and have a similar thing.
I’ve also tossed around the idea of putting fancy lined stationary in the picture frame so you can write on lines or like colored printer paper or even painted cardboard to write on a colored background.

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#5

Both of these suggestions sound great if you either work from home or don’t need to check your plan through the day. I use a pretty big moleskin diary with elastic and store my pretty coloured paper folded around the elastic, so I can actually see at a glance what i am supposed to be doing. I almost never leave the house without my diary, certainly not on a work or college day.

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#6

I actually used to have something like that but I forgot all about it! It was back when I was first starting to manage adhd so it didn’t work out the way I wanted it to. When I stopped carrying a purse I guess I forgot about it.

Yesterday after I saw these replies, I tried making something similar on google spreadsheets (so it could be color coded) with a matching google word document to go with it so I can log what works and what doesn’t. Google sheets is kind of cumbersome to use when you mess something up though, so I’m not sure it’s practical long term. Maybe some other kind of online planner?

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#7

It hasn’t been 100% successful yet, but I’ve been trying to schedule my weekends explicitly. So, like, say I have to run a couple of errands and do something at home, I will actually put times to do them on the calendar rather than just having an amorphous “run errands” in my brain. It shows me that I really DO have time to do multiple big projects in one day, as well as having time for “recreation”.

I also have an EXTENSIVE to-do list in my bullet journal and if I think of something I should do but don’t want to break what I’m doing at the moment, then I try to write it in the bujo (it’s hit or miss right now, work in progress). But it helps me because often times I’m like “if I don’t do the small thing now I’ll forget I need to do it, but if I do it now I’ll forget was I was doing that’s actually more important and I’ll go off on a tangent”. So writing it down means the pressure to remember it is gone and I can re-focus on what I was already doing.

I’ve played with a priority matrix via whiteboard, but I have too many things on my to-do list and they’re really just too granular. So I switch to a project list, and then the very next step written under it. So, I have a plan to knit some things, and the things that’s stopping me from moving forward is looking up what needle size I used on the last, similar project. It’ll take like 2 seconds, but I haven’t done it, so it’s on the whiteboard (and the to-do list).

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